Animals as Companions
The Society believes that companion animals fare best when people make a well-considered decision to accept the responsibilities of ownership and a commitment to provide them with proper life-long care and quality of life.
Pet owners should respect and adhere to all animal-related laws and make sure their animal’s behavioral and physical needs are met. The Society encourages and recommends that cat owners confine their cats to the home or a suitably sized cattery for the animals’ safety. Dogs should not be chained 24 hours a day; intermittent chaining for limited periods is acceptable if more humane enclosure alternatives are not available.
Animals as Prizes
The Society opposes giving animals as prizes, in raffles or contests, or sales of animals in an environment which encourages an impulse decision, in the belief that the animals are likely to go to homes ill-prepared to accept or support them. It supports efforts to help owners learn proper care, training, and respect for their animals.
Animals as Entertainment
Wild or undomesticated animals have well-established psychological, behavioral and environmental needs. For these reasons, the Society believes that wild animals should not be used in circuses, shows and exhibits.
The Society is opposed to animal contests that cause neglect, abuse or exploitation of animals. These events have a desensitizing effect, causing people to be unsympathetic to animal suffering and condone animal abuse as an acceptable form of entertainment.
The Society works actively to prevent any practice that might produce pain, stress, injury or death to any animal in activities such as advertising, rodeos and circuses.
Animals in Experimentation
The Society believes the use of animals for experimentation should be permitted only when there are no feasible alternatives and only when the experiment is believed likely to produce new and substantial information. Laboratory practices should eliminate stress and suffering to the greatest degree possible. The Society supports inspection, enforcement, and upgrading of pertinent laws governing the use of animals in research, testing and teaching that will ensure that their physiological, psychological and behavioral needs are met to the greatest extent possible.
The Society supports the Hawaii State law that prohibits procurement of animals for experimentation from shelters. Animals used for experimentation should be obtained through facilities dedicated to breeding a species for that purpose, and such facilities should be held accountable for the care of the animals in conditions that fulfill both physical and behavioral needs.
The Society advocates that education for all individuals involved with research animals shall include courses in ethology, ethics, manipulative procedures, anesthetics and laboratory animal care.
Animals Raised for Food/Slaughter
The Society supports the enforcement and strengthening of current laws and the implementation of humane standards for animals in every phase of animal-based food production. The Society opposes “factory farming” or any other practice that results in animals being viewed as and treated as machines. Because of the potential of inhumane slaughter, the Society opposes the slaughter of any animal except by a certified slaughter house.
Practices such as cockfighting and dog-fighting should be eliminated and cause acute suffering and physical harm to animals and desensitizes both children and adults to the value of life. Such organized and willful abuse of animals is contrary to the values of a humane, aware and caring society. The Humane Society condemns and opposes all “blood sports.”
The Society supports methods that use positive reinforcement and rewards to train animals. It strongly discourages physical or psychological punishment for behavior modification.
The Society strongly opposes discriminatory public policy of certain dog breeds. Such policies include discriminatory legislation and regulation, insurance underwriting, and community bylaws or requirements (e.g. military or housing developments).
Profiling behavior by breed is faulty for a number of reasons. Fatal attacks represent a small percentage of bite-related injuries. Breed is often difficult to determine.
Breed is not a conclusive indicator of behavior. Abuse, socialization, training and the many other ways in which an owner influences behavior are more accurate predictors of an animal’s likelihood to be aggressive.
Breed bans infringe on the rights of responsible dog owners. These bans cause unintended hardship to responsible owners of properly supervised and well-socialized dogs of targeted breed. Although these dog owners have done nothing to endanger the public, owners may be forced to give up their dogs or move.
The Society does not support keeping animals in classrooms unless each animal has an owner committed to their proper and life-long care.
An estimated 6 million animals annually are killed every year for high school classroom dissection purposes. An increasing number of parents are requiring that their children be given a choice or alternative when it comes to dissection. With today’s technology that includes 3-D models and videos, you can still learn basic anatomy without killing animals. Several states (a total of 11) now have laws that give the student the right to choose an alternative to dissection.
The dissection of cats, which are considered companion animals, is offensive to many who view them as family members. Educators who might hesitate to dissect dogs would also be wise to think twice about the dissection of cats. More people own cats than dogs nationally. Teachers who choose to allow this practice have a great responsibility to investigate these companies that provide these animals to ensure a humane life and death of animals used for science. According to our research, some of these animals are coming from foreign countries where the animals’ capture, living conditions and death may not be humane.
Bottom line is that as the study of life, biology should foster respect and compassion for animals.
The Society’s goal is to have euthanasia performed when it is the only alternative to end an animal’s suffering. For animals that are suffering from irreversible disease, injury or other infirmities or those that pose a safety threat, euthanasia is the most humane alternative. Indefinite confinement, isolation or indiscriminate placement are not acceptable alternatives.
The Society endorses the guidelines in the Humane Society of the United States Euthanasia Training Manual (2002) and believes that each agency should choose a proven humane method performed by professionally trained and certified staff.
The curricula of all Hawaii schools (preschool through the 12th grade) should include humane education programs and the teaching of kindness and respect for all living things. Humane education should continue into adulthood with programs focusing on the duties and responsibilities of ownership and the care of animals.
Hunting and Fishing
Trophy hunting and trophy fishing exploit animals solely for entertainment and are contrary to the values of a humane, aware and caring society. Hunting animals solely as trophies or for recreation should be prohibited.
Hunting should provide the quickest death. When hunting dogs are used, they must be under the control of their owner at all times and be trained not to injure or be injured by the hunted animal.
Long-Distance Transportation of Pets
All long-distance transportation of animals should include adequate opportunity for rest, adequate food and water, space, temperature control and clean shipping conditions. All efforts should be used to minimize stress, transportation time and holding.
Pet Visitation/Assistance Animals
Use of companion animals to help people with special needs can foster bonds beneficial to both people and animals – including sight and service animals, comfort animals, and those making pet visitations. The Society supports programs that provide positive benefits to animals and people and that balance the needs of both.
The human-animal bond is beneficial and therapeutic. It advocates for responsible owners to be allowed to have animals in apartments, condominiums, rental units, residential care facilities, and in public places such as all parks, outside eating areas if acceptable to the restaurant owner, and beaches.
The Society is committed to keeping Hawaii rabies-free. The Society advocates for alternatives that can safely eliminate or minimize the time animals spend in quarantine, cause the least disruption to the human-animal bond, and minimizes the burden to pet owners.
Sale of Pets
The Society believes that the breeding, importing and sale of pets should only be done if responsible breeding guidelines to ensure a healthy animal are followed AND that there is a surety of placing the puppy or kitten with a responsible owner.
The Society opposes animal sales that exploit the novelty appeal of various animals at the expense of their well-being and that encourage impulse purchases without ensuring that the buyer is well equipped and knowledgeable about proper and humane care.
The Society supports development and promulgation of humane standards of care, display, transportation and sale of animals.
The Society believes that exotic or wild animals are not appropriate companion animals and should not be sold as pets.
The Humane Society is opposed to the sale of companion animals through pet shops and similar outlets. At pet shops, animals are often obtained from mass producing breeding facilities or are inhumanely captured from the wild. Animals are often considered a commodity and the welfare of the individual animal is not a priority. Most pet shops provide no education about the special needs of each animal, nor do they offer any health guarantees or follow up after the sale.
We object to practices by pet shops that encourage the perception that breed registries are a guarantee of quality.
Animals should be obtained from non-mass producing sellers such as reputable breeders and shelters.
The Humane Society believes that puppy mills are cruel exploitation. The female dogs are little more than breeding machines and are usually condemned to a life of isolation in a dirty, cramped cage with inadequate food and veterinary care. Even if the living conditions are adequate, the indiscriminate breeding of dogs adds significantly to the pet overpopulation problem.
Puppies produced in puppy mills are more prone to disease due to poor nutrition, inadequate medical care and the stress of being shipped long distances at a young age.
Puppy mill breeders generally ignore the behavior traits or physical problems of the parents. Through irresponsible breeding practices, congenital disorders or undesirable and sometimes even dangerous behaviors are passed on to the puppies.
Animals as Gifts
The Humane Society believes that animals should be placed as lifetime companions, and opposes the adoption of an animal as an unplanned gift for an individual who is unaware of the adoption. Pets should be chosen according to the expectations and lifestyle of the new “family,” as well as the animal’s individual needs.
The Hawaiian Humane Society opposes the sale or purchase of novelty pets such as chicks, ducks and reptiles. Many such animals suffer immediately from lack of proper care, while others suffer as their short-lived novelty value diminishes.
The Society opposes having pets which are not suitable as companion animals. Undomesticated birds, reptiles, hedgehogs, monkeys, exotic cats, and other species, whether wild caught or captive bred, are not suitable as companion animals because it is not possible to address these animals’ behavioral and psychological needs in captivity.
The Humane Society supports the sterilization of pets and believes that not only does it have an impact on stemming pet overpopulation, but that altered pets live longer, healthier lives and make better companions.
Trap, Neuter, Return and Management (TNRM) of Free-roaming Cats
The Society supports responsible TNRM as a method to control free-roaming cats. The Society believes that all cats deserve a home with an owner and is working towards that end. It also recognizes that Hawaii has a significant number of homeless cats. Many of these cats were once socialized in homes, but have since become free-roaming.
TNRM is one of many strategies to address free-roaming cat populations. It can be effective when responsible cat colony caregivers maintain colonies by obtaining the property owner’s agreement; ensuring colonies are in a safe environment; locating colonies away from protected animals; sterilizing all members of the colony; removing kittens and newly abandoned, socialized cats; keeping records of cats in the colonies; providing necessary veterinary care and microchip identification; ensuring that feeding areas are free of rubbish, and otherwise maintaining the colony so as not to become a nuisance.
Unnecessary Surgical Procedures
The Society opposes unnecessary surgical procedures that are painful, distressing or restrictive to the animal; performed for cosmetic purposes or to disguise natural imperfections; and done for the convenience of the owner without regard to the interest of the animal.
The Society supports efforts to end needless and cruel destruction of wild animals. When all other avenues have been exhausted and there remains a demonstrable need to kill wildlife, it should be performed by responsible individuals using methods that result in an instantaneous death without suffering.
The Society advocates humane methods of bird control, which include roost area modification, birth control, proper disposal of garbage and waste, no feeding policies and appropriate planning in the construction of new buildings. The Society is opposed to the use of poisons, compounds or methods that cause suffering in controlling bird populations.
Pet overpopulation is a community-wide issue that requires community-based solutions. Through community collaboration, the Society advocates the three-fold strategy of legislation, education and sterilization to effectively address pet overpopulation.
All companion animals should have a home. To ensure responsible pet ownership, the Society encourages training and preventative medical care to eliminate pets being given up because of behavior and health problems. In the event an owner is no longer able to keep the animal, the owner should find a new home or bring the pet to the Society. The Society strongly opposes casual breeding.
Zoos & Aquariums
The Hawaiian Humane Society believes that zoos and aquariums should exist for conservation, preservation and propagation of endangered species and for public education, not as casual entertainment. We believe that under most circumstances, wild animals should be permitted to exist undisturbed in their natural environments. We oppose the capture of animals from the wild for use in zoos and aquariums, except when necessary for the propagation of endangered species.
For animals in a zoo or aquarium environment, the Society seeks the kind of care and confinement that does not inflict stress or suffering, and supports the placement of animals in natural settings consistent with their need for safety, sanitation, and their physical and behavioral needs. Action should be taken to prevent the breeding of a species whose placement in a humane environment is not guaranteed.